(MSNBC.MSN) — General Motors Co said on Wednesday it will end traditional defined benefit pension plans for its U.S. white-collar employees, seen as consistent with its goal of lowering pension risk for investors.

The move comes the day before GM reports fourth-quarter earnings, which are expected to show the weakest profit since the No. 1 U.S. automaker’s post-bankruptcy IPO in late 2010.

There will be no across-the-board pay increases for GM’s 29,000 U.S. salaried workers in 2012, but some workers will get richer bonuses based partly on the nature of their jobs, said Cindy Brinkley, head of human resources for GM.

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